Begin with the End in Mind

When you focus on the big picture or the end result, then it is easier to figure out how to get where you’re going.  This is not how I was taught to do things.  I was taught to make a daily to do list, set some goals both small and large to work towards, then go for it. 

To go towards a mark in the manner I was taught is challenging and requires an enormous amount of self control, not to mention it means to allow yourself to get distracted or even slightly off track can throw major kinks in the plan, leading to discouragement, disappointment and even make you want to just quit at times. 

To keep your eyes on the big picture, to focus on the end result means that your plans, your goals, your to do list become much more flexible and easier to work with.

In this life we are always free to choose our own paths, what we have no control over are the consequences and circumstances that come with them.  Yet if we are focusing on the end result then it doesn’t become a major disaster when things mess up because we are still focused on where we want to be instead of where we are at the moment.

The easiest way to keep the end result in mind is to create a sort of mission statement, something personal that fits you and where you want to be.  A personal mission statement is like a tree, planted and growing, putting down deep roots and continually reaching to be more. 

Seek out who you are, your talents, your hopes, your dreams, and don’t worry if you are older or restarting life after a big change, acquaint yourself with the person you are inside.  As we get older, we learn, we acquire new skills, new interests, all of which you can make part of your big picture or mission statement that you will focus on. 

What I have learned is that time can be a great intimidation.  There’s no such thing as a late bloomer, we all go at our own pace.  There’s no one keeping score or pointing fingers, no one knows your goals and dreams unless you choose to share them with someone else.  Everyone else is just a bystander.

So take the time to seek out your own interests, there are no wrong answers, just different choices to make.  Figure out your dream, where you want to be as the end result, then set out on a journey to get there.  Each step of the way, be it big or small is better than sitting, wondering, and doing nothing at all. 

Cherry Coley ©


Keep it Moving!!

When you are stuck and can’t figure out what to write, then journal, or grab a notebook and write anything that pops into your head for at least three pages.  Brain dump on the paper until your mind clears and the creativity can flow again.

 In mathematics we are taught that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  However, it doesn’t matter if we KNOW the rules if we don’t take action and actually move.  You can be in the middle between point A and point B, but you will never reach either point without movement.

 So, keep moving towards your goals, keep moving towards your dreams, keep writing, keep painting, keep the creativity flowing.  You can’t really steer a parked car or a boat on the beach, you have to put the car in gear and the boat in the water in order to make any progress. 

Now is a great time to take a chance on you!

 Cherry Coley ©

Temper Temper

My grandmother used to tell me that one of the things you never want to lose is your temper, so if you keep a close watch on it, you won’t lose it easily.

Grandma always had a good sense of humor, but there really was wisdom in those words.  In this world where we live at such a quick pace, rushing to work, rushing to finish errands, working to get things done, or put away, running running all the time, it is easy to grow impatient. 

I confess there have been times when the cashier was carrying on a grand conversation with the person in front of me and I wanted to ask them to trade phone numbers and catch up later.  Still, what’s the real harm?  Why is it a crime to pause briefly and exchange pleasantries?  Is being polite, kind and friendly becoming a lost art?

Of course there is a place and time and a conversation at the checkout stand should technically only last as long as it takes to ring up the purchases, a sort of unspoken courtesy to the other people waiting in line, but still, we shouldn’t huff, puff and growl when someone says hello.

Nothing irritates me more than being at a red light and the light barely turns red when the guy behind me lays down on the horn.  Well, you just bought a slow start from me, Buddy. 

I think one of the things that really bothers me are the people who are dragging some exhausted, screaming toddler around the store.  The kid is worn out, mom or dad is flustered, embarrassed and there’s no possible way they will remember everything they needed to get at the store anyway.  All that to be accompanied by glares of all the other customers and workers at the store who are enduring the ear piercing screams of a tired child.  Yet, I have been there a couple of times with a sick baby and no choice but to go and get medicine, I sympathize.

In any case, it temper should rarely come into play.  We are all busy, we all have places to go, people to see, things to get done and the same amount of time to do it all.  If we are short tempered because we are constantly rushed, then perhaps the answer is better time management.

A wise person said – it’s nice to feel important, but much more important to be nice.  In the end we are all remembered for the things we’ve done.  Wouldn’t you rather be remembered for doing the right thing at the right time, or being kind, generous, happy, funny, or anything at all other than the person that couldn’t control their temper? 

Cherry Coley ©


They’re Just Words

It can be hard to say the right thing at the right time.  How many times do we sit and say nothing and then later wonder why we didn’t say something?

I can’t count the times when I’ve wished later that I said something other than what actually came out.  Words taken then wrong way can be damaging and hurtful.  Words not spoken at all can lead to hurt as well because sometimes we give the impression we don’t care, or are preoccupied. 

I love words, but sometimes they have been my enemy.  I have struggled and fought with them to make them share my thoughts in a way that might make sense to someone else.  I don’t always succeed.  Sometimes clear communication can be elusive. 

It’s times like those, when words just aren’t enough, that I am thankful to be able to reach out, hold, hug, touch someone’s hand, or just share a smile.  At times when words won’t come, tears or a look can say far more than anything I could manage to say out loud.

Communication is far more than just words, with some people it comes easy, while others are a bit more of a challenge because we are all different.  Yet communication is a gift that can bring together people of all ages, all nationalities, and from every circumstance given the chance.

Cherry Coley (c)


Shoot for the Moon!

I was outside looking at the full moon one night, marveling at how much light it was giving off and how truly beautiful it was.  It reminded me how beautiful a dream can be when it’s first thought of and how that the light it can give when its new is nothing compared to the light it reflects when it’s reached full completion.

My art teacher used to tell me to “dream big.” 

My mom used to tell me to “be practical.” 

My dad used to say “just do what you can do and go from there.”

Where would we be if we didn’t have the “big” dreamers in the world?  Dreamers like Walk Disney who changed the face of imagination opened the mind to so many new possibilities, or Steve Jobs who wanted to “put a ding in the universe,” and succeeded! 

Look at Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors in American History, to him failure was simply finding out the things that wouldn’t work and going on from there.  One of my favorite quotes is: “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something” – Thomas Edison.

So when it comes to dreaming, shoot for the moon!  Dream big!  Don’t give up or give in because of set-backs, obstacles, or even failures along the way.  Believe in the dream, note what doesn’t work and keep reaching for your goals anyway, the end result will be well worth the effort if you see it all the way through.

So many of life’s true failures are made when people give up their dream never really realizing how close they were to success when they gave up.

 Cherry Coley ©

Walls and Bridges

Sometimes we are lonely because we have built far more walls than bridges.

We are a society of walls, fences and protected privacy.  We are taught that these things will keep us safe and protected from harm.  In an age of information, there is a lot of truth to that.

However, it is also true that if we are not careful we find ourselves building walls around our heart and mind as well.  It happens when we get hurt by someone we love or respect a great deal.  It happens because life dictates that we all have our fair share of hard knocks to keep us humble, and help us grow, however we choose how to respond to these events.

The most important weapon we will ever own as individuals is the gift of choice.  We cannot always choose events, or circumstances.  We cannot predict mishaps and unfortunate occurrences.  The one thing we can do is decide how we will respond, the attitude we will take and how we will allow these life events to affect us.  Your responses, attitude and approach to life are the only things you have complete control over at any given point in your life. 

Choose to respond positively. 

Choose to learn and adjust your attitude to your own advantage.

Choose to share what you have experienced.

Don’t shut out the world with walls and fences, build some bridges and share the knowledge with others.  That is how we will change the world, one person at a time, starting with the person in the mirror.

Cherry Coley ©